Jill and Mike Lowery, missionaries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with their children Matthew, Hannah and Taylor
Jill and Mike work
with the Congo Baptist Community (CBCO). Jill is currently involved in mission
education, women's ministries and youth work. She has also been working with
the women of CBCO both at the national and local levels. She is involved with
organizing women's activities in Kinshasa and
throughout Western Congo. Because the economic
situation in the Congo makes life so difficult, Jill hopes that her ministry
will have an impact on the lives of women and mothers as well as on the living
conditions of their families. Mike is a professor and administrator at the
Pastor's Institute in Kikongo. He teaches New Testament and prepares pastors
for rural ministry.
Jill writes: This
morning, my bible reading was from Matthew 22:37-39 where Jesus talks about
God's greatest commandments: “... love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind, AND love your neighbor as
yourself.” I was thinking how Jesus linked these two commandments by saying
that the second one is “like” the first one. My first thought was, “Jesus
didn't say it that way by accident, so could it be that each of these
commandments contingent on the other?” In other words, is my ability to love
God and connect with him directly related to the degree to which I give myself
away to others and love them?
In our conversation with the pastor, Michael shared about his work in Congo at the Pastors' Institute. He talked about how awesome it is to get to work with Congolese pastors like Pastor Mbu, who is the director of the Institute – a man who loves God with all of his heart. He talked about how Pastor Mbu and his wife spend their lives loving and mentoring the pastoral students and their wives, as well as the rest of the people of Kikongo. I was reminded of the many times he came to our house after hearing that one of us was sick, how he would take the time to pray with us, and would often bring a precious gift of food sent by Mama Mbu. That gift meant that someone in their family would sacrifice a meal for us that day. These are people who truly love God AND love their neighbors as themselves. They are a great example of what it means to give yourself away.
Jesus, of course, is our perfect example. As we celebrate Easter, let us remember all that he gave away for us, and be inspired to do the same for others.
· Pray for Jill and Mike and their family while they are on home assignment, as they speak and share with congregations here in the U.S.
· Pray for the believers in Congo as they live for Jesus and bear witness to Christ’s salvation.